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Transforming Fear to Joy

Easing into Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose)

Although we are complex beings — physical, mental-emotional, energetic and spiritual — we do not have to be complicated.

By combining balance and strength with awareness as happens in all the Hasta Padangusthasana variations, we address alignment while integrating our physical body with our subtle body (nadis, chakras and prana). This act opens the channels to our intuitive wisdom.

Although we are complex beings — physical, mental-emotional, energetic and spiritual — we do not have to be complicated. The eight-limb path of yoga enables us to holistically work on all eight limbs all the time. This integrative approach to healing and transformation reveals, layer by layer, our individual complications (limited social conditioning and habits). These self-revelations are opportunities to continue on as before or to choose a new way more in line with who we truly are — our authentic self.

Ease into revealing the beauty of your being by practising the following sequence into Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana I, II and III. As your beginning, quietly sit with a tall spine and move your awareness to your breath and inner experience. While here, practise sensing the Yoga Actions listed below. When you are ready to begin the more active phase of the sequence, take the Yoga Actions into each of its poses.

YOGA ACTIONS:
1. Draw the back face of the sacrum down to the sit bones and into the heels.
2. Lift the inner ankles to the inner knees to the inner trochanters.

SURYA NAMASKAR A (Sun Salutations A)
INHALE to lift & lengthen the spine, EXHALE to move into each pose:

1. VIRASANA (Hero)
2. TADASANA (Standing Mountain),
3. URDHVA HASTASANA in TADASANA (Upward Salute in Standing Mountain),
4. UTTANASANA (Standing Forward Fold),
5. ARDHA UTTANASANA (Half Standing Forward Fold),
6. KUMBHAKASANA (Plank),
7. CHATARANGA DANDASANA (Four-limbed Staff),
8. URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANA (Upward-facing Dog),
9. ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (Downward-facing Dog),
10. ARDHA UTTANASANA (Half Standing Forward Fold)
11. UTTANASANA (Standing Forward Fold),
12. URDHVA HASTASANA in TADASANA (Upward Salute in Standing Mountain),
13. TADASANA (Standing Mountain)

Repeat Surya Namaskar A for 1 to 3 repetitions to warm the inner body. If you are familiar with Ujjayi Pranayama breath, engage this breathing rhythm throughout.

Once you feel internal heat, then move onto the following supported poses.


SALAMBA UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHANA I
– thighs bones are releasing into hamstrings
– sit bones are level
1) INHALE & raise arms overhead
2) EXHALE & fold forward at hip crease


SALAMBA UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA II
– turn R side of body to face wall
1) place R heel on chair back & INHALE L arm to ceiling
2) EXHALE & side bend extending fingers toward wall
– thighs bones are releasing into hamstrings


SALAMBA UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA III
– return to facing toward wall & place heel on chair back
– thighs bones are releasing into hamstrings
– sit bones are level
1) INHALE & raise arms overhead
2) EXHALE & twist torso toward raised leg
– if space is available in shoulders, release arms as demonstrated


PAVANA MUKTASANA (Wind-relieving)
to

SAVASANA (Corpse)

May your beauty and true self be revealed to you. Namaste.

Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.

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